Answered by Stewart Matheson

What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.

To first start making music I was inspired mostly by nu-metal and guitar based bands of the late 90’s/00’s. I started as a bass player playing punk rock and hard rock in and around Glasgow. We all have a background of mostly rock, alternative rock and metal.

Layaway was born out of one band ending and a drive to still make music.

As I said previously, I was a bass player, with no band and a drive to keep going. I picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing sessions myself and learning as I went along to both play guitar and sing which was a massive challenge. I met Rob (Lees) on a night out and got chatting to him about what I wanted to do and at the time what I thought the band was going to be. He came along for a jam (and a few beers) and we’ve played together since. We hit the jackpot when the first drummer we auditioned was our current drummer Euan (Wilkie). He dug the music and is a crazy good drummer so we both just knew we had to recruit him. Fast forward a lot of gigs, songs being written and re-written and a revolving door worth of bassists and we now have Fraser (MacDonald) in the band and he’s slotted in like a glove. The current incarnation has been the quickest at moving things forward and it’s probably with things just falling into place. We recently signed to Reaction Management and that’s given us more time to be creative and focus on the fun stuff that make Layaway a great band to be in.

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

Falling Knives is a song about struggles – we all face them. But it’s looking back at them, moving forward and coming out stronger on the other side that this song is about. For me it has a narrative throughout of reflection and self awareness. We can spend too much time looking back rather than moving forward that we never get anywhere. The song is layered in a driving groove and has big lifts throughout. It’s kind of what Layaway is all about. Groove and epic – in that order.

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

For musical influences we all have varying tastes. But as a band we definitely draw influence from alternative bands which crossover into stadium rock, post rock, hard rock and metal. Bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, The 1975, Architects, Starset and Bring me the Horizon. My main thing is beauty in sound. As long as I have goosebumps then I’m happy. Non-music-wise the main influence is cinema. It’s the one thing that the band is heavily influenced by and that comes back to the whole larger than life sound and having soundscapes, tension in the music, narrative and intense moments.

In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?

Our sound is groove driven alternative rock with cinematic qualities, intense lyrics and deep moments that are relatable. If people want to feel a connection and be part of something then we are here for them. If we can make people think, have their hair stand on end or simply rock out then we have done our job!

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

Stewart’s Choice

Albums – Thrice – The Artist in the Ambulance, The Blue Nile – A walk Across the Rooftops, Interpol – Antics

Movies – The Lost Boys, Blade Runner, Predator

Books – I don’t read books.


Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

You can’t beat live music and when the crowd is going there’s nothing better. It’s why we do what we do. Playing for people and having them bounce off what you have spent all this time crafting is incredible.

The studio is where I’m at home and most comfortable and in that sense it’s a safe creative place where magical moments happen but mostly it’s the creative part where all the grafting gets done.

There’s just something that bit crazier playing live as anything can happen and for that it’s much more of a thrill when everything falls into place!

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

We spent a night in the van on our last tour that was hellish and bodies were lying all over the place. We ended up almost drawing straws for who would sleep where and then realised there was no “good spots” for a decent nights sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night freezing and slowly realised that this was a bad time and was convinced that we were in serious chance of getting hypothermia – it was freezing. Me and the bass player at the time Drew (Walls) managed to salvage a black sheet that was for covering the gear and cuddled down for the night. It was a moment of realisation that yes – we are actually doing this. Needless to say we kept each other warm enough to survive! But the trauma has never left me. You just can’t buy experience like that, air bnb or a decent van from now on!

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

Falling Knives is a massive step forward for us. We’ve always just done what we wanted when it came to music but with Falling Knives we really made some quick decisions and didn’t overthink it too much. It’s three and a half minutes long which is shorter than anything we’ve done before but we feel it’s definitely our most accessible song. We self produce all the material and Falling Knives is a leap forward when it comes to production of the audio. It’s very intense and at the same time very pop orientated. Somthing we want to explore more of for sure.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

We’ve got the single Launch night at Nice n Sleazy Glasgow on the 22/11/19 and then one more show booked this year at the Glasgow Garage Atiic as part of our management company’s end of year show on the 22/12/19.

2020 we are going to be focusing on building more of our online presence and building from that. There’s going to be a lot more music and video to go along with it as well. We’ve been building a setup where we can basically plug in play, film it and then release it. Creating content and reaching more people is our ultimate goal, and if we can raise the bar with bigger shows then of course we will blow the roof off the place.

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

What’s the best part of being in a band and specifically Layaway?

The bond we have as a band has always been good. It’s like a small extension to your own family. We spend so much time talking, planning and doing things to do with the band it just becomes part of your life. We’re a very honest band and honest with each other. It’s all for the greater good of the project and things that happen or things that are said to each other in practice can be harsh at times but its always moving the band forward and progressing it to the next level. If we can connect with anyone who listens, watches us or simply likes a post then the doors open to come along the journey with Layaway and see where it takes us.

Curated by: Christos Doukakis

Recommended listening:

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